Paul Mailman receives a health check from Clem Shadford during Coffee in the Park held in Gayndah today.
Paul Mailman receives a health check from Clem Shadford during Coffee in the Park held in Gayndah today. Marissa Newman

Is stigma stopping you?

OFFERING free health checks is an invaluable service to the community that IWC offers, but those involved with the organisation worry that stigma is stopping those in need.

Clem Shadford said stigma around needing to see a doctor is often heightened in small country towns.

"They need them badly,” Mr Shadford said.

Kristy Drayton said that one of the main attitudes is that what you don't know won't hurt.

"I think that they don't like coming because they don't usually go to the doctor unless there is something physically wrong,” Nicole Chapman said.

Ms Chapman said that it is important that the community is empowered to regain their own self-management.

"We are here to empower the community, empowering them to self-manage their own condition,” Ms Chapman said.

Ms Chapman said that it's good that they come and get the health check even if it is only once every two months while we are here in town.

"If there is something that we do find we can then refer them to the doctor or even help them get there, we can ring up for them if they feel as though they can't do that, advocate on their behalf,” Ms Chapman said.

IWC Coffee in the Park is a day focused on community engagement and to monitor the health of people in the community.

The orgaisation hopes to attract the younger generation to these events.

"We are trying to attract the younger generation, not the younger ones but probably about 18-40, the older ones we get all the time but we just can't attract the younger ones,” Clem Shadford said.

Health checks are conducted and advice is given as to whether people should go and see their local doctor.

"We do blood pressure, the sugar levels and their weight and we tell them if it's high we will recommend that they go to a doctor and we try to encourage them,” Mr Shadford said.

Services are also offered to help people with getting to the doctor.

IWC will offer to go to the doctors with the person or will sign them up with IWC to help organise transport and other things to help them get there.

The services are available from Monto to Biggenden and out to Mount Perry.


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